Schiit Saga Thread

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by HitmanFluffy, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    You already bought it, just tell us your thoughts when you get it and others will chime in instead of cluttering the thread.
     
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  2. weicheheck

    weicheheck Acquaintance

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    I've seen a few mentions of fake tubes I meant more along the lines of that.


    But yeah betterr to ask for in the advice thread I apologize.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I can't find the output impedance of the DM Source, but I took at look at some of the ATC pres and their OI is apparently 10...ohms. That low 10K input impedance makes matching pretty tricky, especially anything with tubes.
     
  4. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Before selling the Saga I gave it a test as a preamp for headphones. Short story, it's not so good, it muddies the sound slightly whatever tube was used. The quickie however retained the clarity and added it's own flavour in the treble.

    Still best preamp is no preamp.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  5. alubis

    alubis Acquaintance

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    DM Source is an active preamp, hence I think it would be fine impedance matching wise. The drawback is if you use built in dac, the usable volume pot is not much because the hot output common in Dangerous gear. However, I mostly listen around 75 to 80db.

     
  6. tranq

    tranq Facebook Friend

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    I've got a saga and recently put in a soviet Foton 6SN7 from 1953 ish. Bass and Treble are really brought to life. Midrange doesn't seem to take too much of a hit. Huge difference between active and passive with the Foton.

    Haven't listened critically with the Foton, just while working at desk, so no comment on soundstage, separation, imaging.

    The stock tube is pointless. It gives a very very slight gain and warmth to the sound compared to passive.
     
  7. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    I think I may have an issue with my Saga, and would like to check with others what normal behaviour is. My chain is Gungnir Multibit SE Outputs -> Saga -> Vidar -> ATC SCM11

    The SCM11 has pretty low sensitivity, 85db official or really 3-4db less according to Stereophile. But to get good volume I need to have the Saga at three quarters to max depending on the track. Oddly the volume is the same from both the passive SS stage and active tube stage modes, the latter of which can output >10VRMS according to schiit.com. I would have expected that mode to blow the house up at max volume.

    Am I just missing something being a newbie to high end two-channel?


    Cheers

    (Tagging @rlow @schiit)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  8. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    Yah that's because the tube stage is a buffer, no gain. Which means you're at most getting the ~2.5VRMS from the Gungnir Multibit SE output.

    Edit: you could always get a nice 1:1 transformer to do the Bal to SE conversion "properly" and get ~5VRMS out of that as a result too.
     
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  9. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Yep like Famish said, there’s no gain really in tube mode with Saga (actually I think there’s maybe 1dB, but might depend on the tube). With low efficiency speakers, you do run the volume well over half way or 3/4 depending how loud you like it and how far away you sit.

    There’s no real issue with that however - in fact less attenuation is generally considered better, so being near to the top of the volume knob is good, as long as you don’t need to go PAST the top of the range. If you do, like Famish says, you’ll need more voltage/gain before or after Saga.

    Converting Bal to SE coming from Gungnir Multibit into Saga sounds like a solid way to do that. Or of course you could move up to Freya. Freya has the Balanced ins already and will push out more voltage in Passive/JFET with a balanced source.

    And tube mode in Freya will put out way more gain than those.

    Hopefully you don’t need more volume than the top of the dial from Saga - if you don’t, you’re good.

    Edit: strikethrough on info above that was incorrect. When going SE out of Freya, there is no additional gain from balanced inputs vs SE inputs, which in retrospect makes sense.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  10. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Thanks, guys. Clearly I’ve misunderstood the nature of an active stage. Expecting to manually increase pre-out levels beyond what is being input.

    Generally the volume is fine but occasionally with older recording, particularly when some EQ is applied to compensate a little for bass roll-off, it can be a bit under volume even at max. However I do not feel a need to change anything.

    Side-note: The effect of the tube buffer, w/ stock NOS, is subtle yet quite welcome. Lending just a hint of natural smoothness.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  11. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Its a bit confusing for sure. The Freya has two active stages, but the JFET stage is unity gain like Saga while the tube stage does add gain.
     
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  12. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Looks like I am going to need more gain. I’d only listened to music the first few days, but TV and film tend to be notably lower in level. I just couldn’t reach an acceptable volume while catching up on Star Trek: Discovery tonight. I tried bumping things up digitally through the DEQ2496 but that rapidly introduced distortion, and going direct from Gungnir to Vidar ruling out any issue with Saga.

    Not keen on either of the alternatives, but I’m quite enamoured with the dynamism of these ATCs. It’s a shame as I’m perfectly happy otherwise, and really not enthused about adding more complexity and cost to the system.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  13. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    You can gain a liitle bit of gain (pun not intended) by using different tubes, but I've never paid attention to which ones, sorry.

    2 Vidars into 19s gets plenty loud, noon is enough to be uncomfortable, can't hear people speak loud.
     
  14. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    You can use the compressor/limiter on the DEQ2496 (or equivalent "dynamic range" setting of your AV system), although that will only get you so far if you don't have enough overall gain ...
     
  15. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

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    I had exactly the same issue. Using Modi MB and Saga into a single Vidar all single ended sounded really good with some fairly efficient DefTechs, but I got the Maggies and it just did not seem like it was working them very hard, even at full volume (all the way to the stop).

    Folks here have been most helpful with my understanding of voltages, and more gain seemed to be the necessary solution, so I switched from Saga to Freya and that took care of the issue. Interestingly, passive mode with Freya now has far more gain than passive mode with Saga did after I got the Gungnir and switched to balanced rather than SE. So I don't need to use the tube stage, but I do because I like the sound.
     
  16. tranq

    tranq Facebook Friend

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    You could always add a Magni 3 to the chain.

    I ran my vidar off my Magni 3 at work for awhile. Vidar gets way louder way faster off Magni 3 then Saga because of the gain.

    I'd recommend turning the pot on Magni 3 to full, to allow for complete pass through, and then use the saga as volume control like you normally would.

    I haven't tried this at home into Vidar as I haven't needed to.

    I use Magni 3 In this method when listening to headphones at home via saga. It's the best way I have to listen to HPs. Saga into magni 3 for hp use is fantastic.

    Source > DAC > Saga > Magni 3 > Vidar > Speakers.

    Magni 3 is also currently available via b stock on Schiit. https://www.schiit.com/b-stocks

    Or you could buy A stock with option to return if it doesn't work.
     
  17. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    This is because the balanced outs from Gungnir are 4V RMS while SE outs are only 2V RMS. This is why Famish suggested the 1:1 converter for going from Gungnir Multibit balanced outs to SE, which will retain the higher voltage level.
     
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  18. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  19. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    You had me jumping for joy for a moment there, and I already use BNC/COAX <--> AES Neutriks for my equaliser. Unfortunately cheapo transformers appear to have serious drawbacks in this use case. Though these are in relation to headphone amplifier inputs. The posts that follow the quotes below are also informative re. transformers.

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ec-2a3.6269/#post-205650
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...-jensen-isomax-pc-2xr.7336/page-2#post-241640
     
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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  20. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Yep good digging, I had forgotten about that post from @atomicbob. Pretty sad that these transformers can’t do a basic job like this...I thought Neutrik was fairly reputable.
     
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